Breast Health: Bras and Skincare

 As I mentioned in my first article Breast Health Awareness, there isn’t a lot of research done on how to take care of our breasts so we can try to prevent problems in the future. However, it makes sense to learn what information is available, and use our logic to make decisions that are the most beneficial for our bodies. Some of these ideas may be very easy to incorporate into our day, so why not do what we can do?

Just for a quick review:

This is a very “layman’s” explanation of the anatomy of the breasts. If you have an anatomy background, please forgive me, this is for illustration purposes and thought provoking purposes only. If you are interested in the technical aspects of the breasts, please do your research, that is an amazing thing to do. However, for our discussion, we have these systems in the breasts that we want to support:

Lymph system

Muscles and ligaments

Milk glands and ducts

Circulatory system

Skin

Cells of all of the tissues

General health of the body

Breast anatomy

We started talking about the lymph system, and if you do just a bit of research on the lymph system of the breasts, you find that it is vital in the proper functioning of the cells of the body, especially the breasts. It acts as our immune system, since that is where the white blood cells attack the viruses, bacteria and any organism it doesn’t recognize.

In order to keep our breasts healthy, we want the circulation of our lymph system to flow well. We also want the blood circulation to flow to all the cells of our breasts. So what happens when we restrict this flow? This is why I want us to think about things that may restrict this flow.

Restrictions of the breasts: Our bras

I would like to talk about restrictions on these systems as well. For the most part, most of us wear bras. I am not going to say that you shouldn’t wear them, but I want you to think about how good it feels to take it off in the evening.

I understand there are some people who prefer to leave their bras on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If that is your belief, you have your reasons, then feel free to ignore this part.

For the rest of you, I want you to think of the marks that are left on your body when you take it off. OK, I am obviously coming from an angle of large breast tissue, and a lot of bra support. Some people don’t need much support, they are just trying to cover the nipples. If that is you, you can also ignore this. You probably don’t have those lines.

For the rest of us, consider the affect that has on the lymph system and the circulatory system just underneath that skin. It is a restriction that is there day in and day out. Think of the underwire beneath your breasts that keeps them stable, but also restricted.

When we restrict the flow of the circulation of blood flow and lymph drainage, we restrict the natural health promoting and healing systems of the body. When we restrict that to a specific area, how do you think it affects that area.

Again, I am not going to say not to wear a bra, but anything you do to allow more circulation can only help. Here are some things to think about that may be possible ways to alleviate a bit of that restriction:

--Perhaps you could take your bra off earlier in the evening, and fluff your breasts then. (See my first article.)

--Perhaps you could purchase a bra without an underwire.

--Perhaps you could not wear the sports bras all day, since they can be the most restrictive; just use them for exercise.

--Perhaps you can put it on a bit later in the days that you are at home.

--Maybe even have a looser bra that you can wear when the occasion allows.

Just some things to think about.  If you can incorporate any of these into your day or week, it may give your breasts a sigh of relief.

Skin—What are you putting on it?

When I think of our skin, I think of what we put on our skin; then I think of all the toxins in those products. There is a lot of research on the toxins in lotions and beauty products that we put on our skin. Let me just simplify and say that most commercial products have many toxic and questionable chemicals, especially the ones with scents! My suggestion is, if you want a scent on your body, use essential oils. The chemicals it takes to maintain an artificial scent are some of the worst toxins in the products. Just buying unscented can save your liver a lot of work.

You can go further and start using more natural products. Some say you should be able to eat anything you put on your skin, because what you put on your skin goes into the blood stream through the skin cells. Many people have taken to using coconut oil as their only moisturizer. You can eat it, and it seems to work well if you get used to the immediate oiliness. You may have to melt it a bit by rubbing it in your hands to make it more soft and less hard. This is just an easy option that many find helpful. There are also nice products on the market with natural oils like shea butter and cocoa butter that are also very nice.

Find something that works for you. It would be best if it was petroleum product free. Those products with mineral oils or baby oil, which sound great, are really not good for our skin and cells. There are so many ingredients that are harmful in those commercial products, it is amazing to read so many of them in the labels.

One good resource is the Environmental Working Group EWG.org. They have rated many commercial products and will even let you know the ingredients that are questionable in the product.

Deodorant/antiperspirants

It has been shown for a long time that anti-perspirants can contribute to breast cancer. That can be confusing to some, but now that you know the lymph system is essential to the health of your breasts, you can now understand that toxic chemicals being placed next to your breasts can clog up the functioning of the vital lymph system of the breast. There are even pink ribbons on some deodorants, because they are a better alternative than the aluminum containing anti-perspirants. Are they any better, though, with their chemical fragrances?

Alternatives are so difficult when it comes to deodorants. Many home made products contain baking soda, and that is often an irritant to the skin. Many of the “health” alternatives just don’t seem to work. However, there is a phase one has to go through to eliminate the toxins from the area, and I believe there may be a detox phase to getting off those chemicals.

For me, I use essential oils. They do not eliminate the odor, they allow it to blend naturally with my smell. I am not a real “stinky” person, unless I have been using my husband’s deodorant for a while, when I have run out of my essential oil. I think I will experiment with probiotics, and try to fight off the smell producing bacteria, and see if that helps.

This may be an area that you want to experiment with. There are quite a few deodorant recipes on the internet. I can just add one for you to check out:  Alternative Deodorant Recipe

Essential Oils

In addition to being a better alternative to deodorant, there is one essential oil that has been known for it’s healing benefits. If I had breast cancer, it would be the first thing I invested in…Frankincense. I would rub it on my breasts and lay in the sun. I don’t know where this came from, but it is a traditional healing method for breast cancer. Some people swear by it, some think it is just crazy stuff. Since it comes from people who have healed themselves from breast cancer, I tend to favor their opinion. However, you get to choose for yourself and do your own research. Should you apply Frankincense essential oil to your breasts without having cancer? Do your research and see what feels right for you. I am just making you aware of the claims, although you will find quite a bit of controversy around this. Frankincense has been known for it’s healing properties for centuries; I suggest that it is not without reason.

Frankincense-oil-798x640

In this article, I have been trying to get you to think about what you do to your skin and put on your skin affects the health of your breasts. In the next article, I will cover food as medicine. This is probably the easiest way to upgrade your overall health while supporting your breast health, and the most delicious way as well! If these articles have been of any help to you, feel free to post on my Facebook page or the Girls Gone Kale Facebook page, and let me know. Thank you.

To your health!

Patti Bealer

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